Some mobile games feature quite a bit of depth. Here’s a look at some choices that are surprisingly deep.
By Rhenn Taguiam
Published 20 hours ago
Gamers who need a break from heavy-duty PC and console gaming would turn to their mobile games for some chill gaming. As such, mobile gaming stereotypes usually include puzzle titles, gacha features, and idle experiences. However, some modern mobile games today actually offer quite immersive experiences that set them apart from usual AAA titles.
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Essentially, some mobile games today offer?surprising levels of depth that will grab the attention of anyone looking for new experiences using their mobile device. In fact, these hit mobile games skip the “need to chill” and instead offer experiences that compete with other modern titles.
Platforms: iOS, PC, OS X, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Granted,?XCOM 2?for the PC back in 2016 already made headlines as one of the most compelling tactical RPG experiences at the time – so it makes sense for a direct iOS port to feel just as compelling. In the?XCOM 2 Collection, players can finally get a more portable version of the full?XCOM 2?experience. As with the base game,?XCOM 2?needs players to establish XCOM as the final resistance force against the aliens who have successfully conquered Earth.
Unlike other mobile experiences,?XCOM 2 Collection?boasts an immensely technical take on RPGs. Aside from its unique aesthetic and deep class progression, the game also offers a dynamic cover and combat system that would never let players “predict” the enemy’s movements. In turn, players of?XCOM 2 Collection?will always adjust to the enemy’s evolving movements regardless of the level.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Fans of Type-Moon’s?Fate/stay night?series can finally become Masters themselves in?Fate/Grand Order. In this mobile game,?players – in the role of Ritsuka Fujimaru – have to go back in time to prevent the Earth’s destruction in 2016. To do so, they need to “fix” Singularities that seem related to the Holy Grail. Thankfully, players aren’t alone as they can recruit Servants – Heroic Spirits from history and mythology – to aid them.
Known primarily for its gacha feature,?Fate/Grand Order?also boasts both an immensely technical gameplay and a compelling storyline. Mechanically,?F/GO?has a very technical take on 3v3 tactical RPGs – where Servants have different Classes and skills, with cards that grant various effects. In the case of its story,?F/GO?features not just a main plot but?opportunities to explore the backstories of its 150+ Servants.
Platforms: Android, iOS, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch (TBA)
Players of?Genshin Impact?stumble into Teyvat, a world with seven distinct nations ruled by a God and an associated Element. In the game’s backstory, players arrive at Teyvat in search of their twin, apparently taken by an unknown Teyvat deity. However, their journey would have players get embroidered with the various affairs of Teyvat’s peoples. At first glance,?Genshin Impact?screams console quality with its graphics, and it has quite a compelling gameplay approach to keep fans playing.
The game features a massive open world they can interact with using one of the seven Elements. Moreover, the game’s innate?gacha system allows players to unlock and recruit various characters, each with their own unique playstyle. In parties of four or five, players take on various challenges in fast-paced combat that will definitely scratch the itch of combo lovers with smartphones.
Platforms: Android, iOS
There’s no reason a “chill” game shouldn’t be associated with depth, and?My Oasis: Relaxing Sanctuary?definitely outshines other relaxation titles. Essentially, the game puts players in charge of a floating island. To grow the oasis, players simply need to tap the screen to collect hearts. Additionally, the game will introduce musical notes that players need to click to generate soothing music. This “repetitive” task would soon prove meditative for players.
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As time passes, the atmosphere surrounding the oasis can also change based on the music playing. Likewise, creatures living on the island will always have motivational quotes, perfect for anyone who needs the occasional words of encouragement.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, OS X, Linux, PS 4, PC
Despite its nature as a mobile game, The?Talos Principle?perfectly bridges a puzzle game with a philosophical storyline. In it, players need to help an unnamed android traverse a number of environments under the guardianship of the mysterious Elohim. Essentially, gameplay involves collecting “sigils” inside different environments. They also have to navigate dynamic puzzle elements – turrets, drones, force fields, lasers, and even propulsion fans.
As players make progress, their interactions with various AIs in the story will unravel the truth behind?Elohim’s creations. And while players simply need to solve puzzles, developments in the story will give rise to questions about life with the rise of machines.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, PC
For a 1999 game to have a successful mobile port more than a decade later is testament to its depth. And such is the case with?King of Dragon Pass. In this strategy simulation game, players become the ruler of the Orlanthi, a clan of barbarians living in the harsh region of Dragon Pass. Primarily a text-based game accompanied with 90s art, it’s surprising at first to call this title immersive.
Essentially, players need to choose seven members of an inner council, each providing counsel to the player on?various clan matters. Unlike other rulership games,?KODP?relies heavily on text-based player choice.?However, unlike other text-based titles, a simple choice in?KODP?can have consequences that span generations.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Fans of?Pok└mon?can finally take their favorite creatures to the world via augmented reality with?Pok└mon GO. Starting as a blockbuster hit in 2016,?Pok└mon GO surprisingly retained its momentum today. And while it’s not as immensely popular nowadays, its more cohesive and streamlined features still make it the best mobile version of?Pok└mon out there. Essentially, the game allows players to capture and train?Pok└mon they can “see” via their phone’s camera. Normal stores, landmarks, and even households can become Gyms, Shops, and hot destinations for various?Pok└mon.
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At first glance, this game isn’t ideal to play with today’s lockdown restrictions due to its need for travel. However, improvements across its features let players at home or traveling for short distances retain that immersive experience without having to travel too far.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Xbox One, PC
It’s surprising enough that?Roblox?has been around since 2006 on the PC – but it’s also more surprising that it’s now described as a game creation system and game platform. Despite being free-to-play (with minor microtransactions) and its mildly-entertaining boxy graphics, players old and young can find something to enjoy in?Roblox.
Essentially, the platform’s Roblox Studio allows players to create their own games. These range from puzzles, to open battle areas, to other immersive experiences. In fact, some content creators also generate rooms to host meetings, holidays, and other family events. The fact that?Roblox?in itself is a platform that players can customize to fit their needs has quite a vast potential.
Literature fans will appreciate?Device 6?for having a unique take on its narrative style.?In?Device 6, players read through – and help – Anna escape an unknown island by navigating various puzzles. With the game appearing as a dynamic book, players have to swipe through the screen and interact with many elements to help Anna across her journey.
What makes?Device 6?so interesting is its compelling combination of text, imagery, and audio cues to immerse players in its narrative. Moreover, its unique reading style provides new experiences with each playthrough.
Platforms: Android, iOS, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac OS
At first glance,?Gris?appears more like a living watercolor world than a platformer – but it’s truly both. The game follows the journey of a young woman across her recovery – with the visuals telling the story through symbolism than an actual narrative. Fans of colorful and visually dynamic games would love?Gris?for its breathtaking animation – transforming main characters, a dynamic background, and colorful puzzles.
Anyone looking for a mixture of a relaxing game with equally challenging puzzles would appreciate Gris.?Due to its beautiful blend of artistry and a unique narrative, this puzzle-platformer even garnered awards – such as 2019’s Mac Game of the Year, and the “Games for Impact” category in 2019’s The Game Awards.
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About The Author
(535 Articles Published)
Rhenn is a Manila-based content writer with a love for all things geek and pop culture, and science and technology. He has a BA Journalism degree, and has since then pursued making content about geek culture. Rhenn used to write for a couple of geek and gaming publications, and also served as editor-in-chief for Philippines-based What’s A Geek!. He constantly plays video games but also takes the time to try out older titles. If he’s not playing video games, he’s probably playing TTRPGs.
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